Sansom Advisors

Emily Barr (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place West, floors 7-8)

Although originally born in the Philadelphia area, Emily grew up in a small town in Northern Virginia. Over the past 3 years here at Penn as a nursing major she has fallen in love with Philadelphia, especially the Phillies. She is well-versed in the Philly’s restaurants and always willing to offer suggestions!

After finishing her undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Nursing she will attend grad school here at Penn to become a nurse-midwife. In her spare time she works at the Children’s Hospital and loves to be outside!

Adriana Carolina Castellanos (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place East, floors 13-16)

My name is Adriana Castellanos and I am a third-year student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. I am the Vice-President of the Penn Law Latin American Law Student Association and I am the Sansom Advisor for floors 13-16. I attended the University of Florida as an undergraduate student and studied abroad in Paris at Reid Hall. I enjoy reading, outdoor adventures, exploring cities, eating exotic foods, learning about new cultures, spending time with friends and family, traveling, photography, Gator Football, museums, long walks, a couple of TV shows, etc. I also love learning and brushing up on other languages.

Mahmud Hussain (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place East, floors 10-12)

Mahmud Hussain started to bring “chemistry” to Sansom Community Services (SCS) since his role as Sansom Advisor in 2006. Mahmud is an international student from Bangladesh. He graduated with a BA in Chemistry from Bard College, New York, in 2005. He is currently a 5th year doctoral student in the Chemistry Department in the field of synthetic organic chemistry. His natural chemistry synthetic skill directly transfers to his love in cooking and tasting food from all over the world. Mahmud hopes to see residents in his upcoming “kitchen chemistry” socials.

Tiffany Li (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place East, floors 6-9)

Tiffany Li is originally from Los Angeles, California and is in her third year studying Architecture at the School of Design. She enjoys hearing about people’s passions and learning about the innovative, fun things students are studying and creating in school. She also likes to play tennis and volleyball for fun, and recently has started baking as a new hobby. She is really looking forward to being a Sansom Adviser this year. If you ever have any questions or concerns, feel free to stop by her room in SPE 712! 🙂

Pranav Merchant (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place West, floors 1-4)

I am a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences majoring in History. I have varying interests that spread across the sciences and business as well, though, and take part in activities that reflect my various interests. In my free time, I like to work out and play sports, spend time with friends, read, and explore new places. I enjoy meeting new people and appreciate my role as Sansom Advisor because it allows me to meet Sansom Place’s many residents.

Sarah Rosenbach (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place West, floors 5-6)

Sarah is a junior in the College, studying Psychology and Math. Though she has thought a lot about eventually teaching math at the high school level, she will most likely become a school counselor. Sarah has been active with Community School Student Partnerships, tutoring at University City High School. This summer, she started working on a study with the Penn Positive Psychology Center, researching how people study for the math section of the SATs and she will be continuing her work during the fall semester.

Sarah is from South Jersey, and she has also lived abroad for two years in the Netherlands. She went to a Quaker school for most of her life and appreciates the values it has taught her. While in the Netherlands, she attended an international school and is now lucky enough to have friends all over the world. Sarah is very well-traveled, having visited at least 30 countries!

Sarah is passionate about eating sushi, taking on crazy knitting projects, baking apple pie to share with friends, watching romantic comedies, and listening to Taylor Swift. Sarah is very easy-going and a good listener. She is also a trained SafeZone volunteer, which means that she is an ally to the LGBTQ community and a resource for queer and questioning students. Sarah gives good hugs, so if you ever need someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to visit her in 517 Sansom West!

Sounak Sarkar (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place West, floors 11-13)

My name is Sounak Sarkar, I am the Sansom (Resident) Advisor for the floors 11-13, Sansom Place West. I am originally from Kolkata, India and currently I am doing my PhD here in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

In my personal life, I am a quiet, friendly person who appreciates and enjoys nice company of friends of all ages, especially those who possess a sharp sense of humor and self respect. My favorite hobbies include reading a lot of books, photography, and of course music. Music in any form is my passion, and I cannot leave without it for a day. I love to go places and of particular interest are those far away from busy hassle of city life, deeply embedded in the calm serenity of a sea shore or a mountain side. I love swimming, table tennis and biking. Cooking is sometimes an extremely refreshing break for me and being a chemist by profession, I find cooking new recipes an interesting pass time.

Michael Shomin (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place West, floors 9-10)

I am from the small town of Mercer in western Pennsylvania. I am a senior in the School of Engineering and Applied Science studying Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, specifically robotics. I am very passionate about cooking, and I love to try new and exciting foods. Please feel free to come and talk with me anytime in room 517.

Maurie Smith (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place East, floors 17-22)

Hi! My name is Maurie Smith and I am the Sansom Advisor for Sansom Place East floors 17-22. This is my first year living in Sansom and my first year studying city planning at the University of Pennsylvania. I was born and raised here in Philadelphia, but am still exploring the city and constantly find new and exciting places to visit. I received a B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary and consider northern Virginia a home away from home. I enjoy playing rugby, outdoors activities, and watching movies. I am also the Sansom Ambassador Manager. If you are interested in becoming a Sansom Ambassador please don’t hesitate to email me.

Bryce Stewart (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place East, floors 4-5)

My name is Bryce Stewart, and I am the Sansom Advisor for Sansom Place East (SPE) Floors 4-5. I am currently a Masters student in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) Department in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. I also completed my undergraduate studies in CBE at Penn so I’ve been here for a while. I hail from Bensalem, Pennsylvania which is about 10 minutes outside of North East Philadelphia and 30 minutes from Penn’s campus.

With all of my experience in Philadelphia and at Penn, I am a very good resource for a lot of information regarding tours, museums, shopping, and restaurants around campus and around Philly as a whole. I have many hobbies because I like to stay busy. I have been playing volleyball since high school, and I am a member of the Penn Men’s Club Volleyball Team. My biggest hobbies are shopping and collecting sneakers (trust me my collection is HUGE!!), but my newest passion is launching the clothing company that I started with my two brothers. Our company is called PANYC STATE (, and our main goal is produce apparel and accessories with designs that are aesthetically appealing as well as meaningful.

Alison Weltner (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place West, floors 14-16)

Hi, Everyone! I am the Sansom Advisor (“SA”) for Sansom Place West, Floors 14-16. I am a second-year student at the School of Veterinary Medicine. I am interested in small animal medicine (i.e. dogs and cats) and hope to one day go into private practice.

I grew up in the town of Green Brook, New Jersey with my parents and two younger brothers. As an undergraduate, I studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. I worked for several years in the pharmaceutical industry before coming to Penn for veterinary school.

When not busy studying, I enjoy cooking, reading the newspaper, listening to music, working out, practicing my Spanish, watching the Yankees, and (of course) cheering on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish!

Amanda Young (Sansom Advisor to Sansom Place East, floors 1-3)

Hi! Welcome to Sansom! My name is Amanda Young, and I am the Sansom Advisor for the first and third floors of Sansom Place East. As a third year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, I am an International Relations major. I have many interests, including cooking, listening to music, and traveling. Residents should feel free to come and chat with me anytime! If I am not around, my email address is in case anyone might have any questions about anything. I am familiar with many of the university’s resources, so please use me as a reference. If you see me out and about, definitely say hi! I am very excited to meet all of the residents! I have a lot of ideas for this year, and I cannot wait to get started!

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